County gets disaster mitigation funding
By Chad Ingram
Published by May 31, 2018
The County of Haliburton has approved for funding from the National Disaster Mitigation Program to assist with flood prevention planning.
The county applied for the funding, nearly $180,000, last September. It will fund half the cost of Phase 1 of a county flood mitigation project. The county will fund the other half, that money included in the 2018 budget.
Phase 1 of the project will include surveying of the Burnt River and lower Gull River watersheds using airborne LIDAR mapping technology. LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, uses a laser-based system to produce extremely detailed topographical images.
Other work will include conducting field surveys to obtain channel elevations; an inventory of culverts and bridges; a survey of ground elevations; the composition of hydraulic and hydrologic models using the LIDAR information; a peer review of those models; and flood plain mapping for the lower portion of the Gull River.
The next step is to form a steering committee with members of partner organizations, including the Ganaraska Conservation Authority, the Kawartha Conservation Authority and Parks Canada, which controls the Trent Severn Waterway. The Gull River, as well as more than two dozens lakes in Haliburton County are part of the feeder system that supplies water to the canal, which stretches from Trenton to Port Severn.
“That’s going to include scientific staff, survey staff, GIS staff, to work with us on this project,” county planner Charlsey White said of the steering committee, as she spoke to county councillors during a May 23 meeting.
“All the people with all the letters behind their names need to be involved in it,’” said Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt, noting water levels management is incredibly technically complex.
Moffatt, along with Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin, are county representatives on the Upper Trent Watershed Water Management Partnership, or UTWWMP. UTWWMP consists of municipal stakeholders and lake stewards from throughout an area including the Haliburton Highlands and northern Peterborough County. The purpose behind that organization, which was scheduled to meet May 28, is to provide a unified voice to stakeholders who, historically, have not had much input on the operation of the canal.
“This has been a long road to get to this,” said Devolin. “Now, we begin the planning process.”
He noted that process would take a number of years.
The county will be applying for funding for Phase 2 of the project, which includes surveying, mapping and modelling the portions of the Gull River and Burnt River watershed not captured in Phase 1.
The deadline for that funding application is September.